Meet Our Staff

Tim Johnson

Director of the UofL Writing Center and Associate Professor of English

I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of writers in introductory, scientific, professional, technical, and digital writing courses over the years here at UofL; at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I received my Ph.D.; and at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where I received my MA. I’ve written a book on how Ford Motor Company helped to narrate a particular kind of economy to the rest of the world (my research is generally interested in the rhetoric of economies), served on the board of a writing-oriented non-profit, and helped establish a Professional and Public Writing major here at U of L. 

I’ve always found writing to be a great way to slow down, process, plan, and connect. Writing helps me to make the overwhelming more manageable, to remain present, to intervene in issues that are important to me, to work with (and learn from) the ideas of others, and to lead a more meaningful life. Getting to spend my days in a place dedicated to helping others do all of that (and quite a bit more) is pretty cool. 

Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, reading, horsing around too much, and telling my two sons to quit horsing around so much.  

Annmarie Steffes

Associate Director

Annmarie holds a PhD in English from the University of Iowa and B.A. in English from Ohio University. Before coming to the University of Louisville, she started the Writing Center at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana and served as its Director and as an Assistant Professor of English for four years. Annmarie’s academic research has focused on nineteenth-century dramas by British women writers and the relationship between print and performance, but her writing experiences are diverse and include publishing creative nonfiction, writing grants, and working as a copyeditor. Annmarie believes that writing holds the power to build bridges between people and loves helping writers meet their academic and personal goals, build confidence in their abilities, and experiment with their expression. When not singing the praises of the Writing Center, Annmarie enjoys hanging out with her dog, gardening, and cooking. 

Maddy Decker

Program Assistant, Senior

Maddy holds an MA in English from UofL and a BA in English and anthropology from the University of Kentucky, and she is now pursuing an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Kentucky University. Her creative work has been featured in Shale and The Kentucky Kernel’s literary magazine. Maddy loves helping writers build skills, confidence, and an enjoyment of writing. Outside of the Writing Center, she enjoys reading thrillers, listening to pop punk, and watching The X Files.

Ken Harmeling

Assistant Director for the University Writing Center

Ken (she/her) is in the third year of her doctoral research in the Rhetoric and Composition program. She comes from Connecticut, where she earned a BA in History at Western CT State University, and where she began her love for the ocean and the Atlantic coast. After receiving her MA in English here at UofL, she is lucky to stay for her PhD research, with interests culminating at the convergence of antiracism, de-settler coloniality, and justice in the writing classroom and in the communities students come from and bring with them. In her role as Assistant Director in the University Writing Center, Ken is excited to work with our community partners like the Western Branch Library to assist in community writing projects and events like the annual Cotter Cup youth poetry competition. A poet herself, Ken is overjoyed to watch and help the young writers of the city find and amplify their voices.

Jess Gottbrath

Assistant Director for Graduate Student Writing

Jess (she/her) is a third-year PhD student in the Rhetoric and Composition program. She previously earned an MA in English and an MA in Education here at UofL. Her varied research interests include narrative theory, linguistic diversity, and sociomaterialism. As Assistant Director for Graduate Student Writing, Jess is dedicated to empowering graduate students as they navigate unique and intricate writing challenges to enhance their scholarly and professional communication skills. Off campus, Jess spends her time listening to podcasts, baking, and playing board games.

Abigail Anderson

Writing Consultant

Abigail Anderson (she/her) is a GTA and graduate student pursuing her Master's in English. She graduated from Hanover College in 2021 with her Bachelor's in English, a minor in Spanish, and a certification in secondary education. She previously worked in her undergrad's writing center, and is passionate about helping others develop their writing skills and effectively communicate their individual points of view. In her free time, she enjoys embroidery, cross stitch, journaling, and, of course, reading.

Language proficiencies: Spanish (advanced)

Jameson Reid

Writing Consultant

Jameson Reid is an M.A. student in English. He graduated with a B.A. in Media Study, a minor in Computer Science and a certificate in Creative Writing from the University at Buffalo. He sees this program at the UofL as an opportunity to explore whether he will pursue an MFA in Creative Writing or a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition in the future. In his free time, he enjoys programming and creating digital art, getting involved in creative writing communities, and watching basketball.

Jennings Collins

Writing Consultant

Jennings is a graduate student pursuing their MA in English after earning their BS in Secondary Education in 2022. Their interests include film and literary history, especially the developments of science fiction and horror genres. As a writing consultant their goal is to help bring new ideas and voices to fruition through careful cultivation.

Shelby Cundiff

Writing Consultant

Shelby Cundiff, a Louisville native, is a first-year M.A. student in English. She earned her B.A. in English at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where she also worked at her school’s writing center. She is excited for more opportunities to work with her peers on their writing, and is also looking forward to meeting new people. Her research interests include American and British women's literature during both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Outside of academics, she loves to read, write, color, and spend time with her friends and family. She also loves watching and talking about sports, but especially softball.

Language proficiencies: Spanish (advanced)

Jolie Finley

Writing Consultant

Jolie is a first year M.A. candidate in English from Bowling Green, KY. She earned her B.A. in English at Western Kentucky University. While attending WKU, she worked as an English tutor and as the website writing editor for the Talisman, one of WKU’s student publications. Jolie hopes to utilize the skills she gained in those positions to serve the UofL community as a writing consultant. In her free time, Jolie enjoys playing video games and watching Studio Ghibli films

Caden Holbrook

Writing Consultant

Caden is an MA student in English. He earned a BA in Philosophy and English with a track in creative writing from the University of Louisville. His research interests include contemporary literature and literary theory, critical theory, and the role of digital communities in driving new forms of literary expression. He is a Louisville native and hopes to pursue a PhD following his MA. In his free time, he enjoys over-analyzing movies and writing fiction.

Lauren Cox

Writing Consultant

Lauren Cox is an M.A. student in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Louisville. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and is originally from Quincy, Illinois. Lauren is passionate about writing with marginalized communities and the role that storytelling and creative non-fiction can play in self-discovery and crafting one’s identity. In her free time Lauren enjoys baking, being outdoors, serving at her church and spending time with friends and family.

Allie Degner

Writing Consultant

Allie Degner is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Louisville, pursuing her M.A. in English. She received her B.A. in English and Writing from Olivet Nazarene University, where she also served as a teaching assistant and writing center assistant. She has worked as a research writer in the School of Medicine for the University of Michigan, as well as written for several nonprofit organizations. Her research interests include exploring themes in gothic literature, writing center studies and pedagogy, and using history to intersect with creative writing. In her free time, Allie enjoys playing her violin, reading (obviously), and attempting to make really good food.

Elizabeth Pope

Writing Consultant

Elizabeth is a PhD student in Comparative Humanities at the University of Louisville. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Bluegrass Writers Studio and an M.A. in English Literature from Eastern Kentucky University. She is from an Appalachian coal-town in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky where her family resides. She enjoys hiking with her family in National Parks, Andrew Wyeth paintings, books, and tea. Her poems appear in various poetry journals and magazines including North Dakota Quarterly, Appalachian Heritage, and elsewhere.

Shayani Almeida

Writing Consultant

Shayani Almeida is a Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, where she worked as a Temporary Lecturer at the Department of English Language Teaching. She is following her M.A. degree in TESL at the Post Graduate Institute of English, Open University of Sri Lanka. Her research interests include ESL writing, Second language acquisition, and vocabulary in language learning. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and listening to music.

Language proficiencies: Sinhala (native), German (intermediate)

Mary Sherafati

Writing Consultant

Mary Sherafati is a PhD candidate in rhetoric and composition at University of Louisville. She acquired her M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Mazandaran University and B.A. in English Translation from the University of Payame- Noor. She has also held jobs as a teacher, a researcher, and an author. She is particularly interested in language writing research that relates to rhetoric and composition, rhetoric and professional writing, and feedback. Mary is really passionate about writing. She regards writing as a way of efficient communication. Also, she thinks that academic achievement depends on having strong writing abilities. It will enable us to communicate effectively and express ourselves. Similarly, effective writing can help us better understand the feelings and thoughts of others. Mary is eager to learn more and more about writing and discovers the methods and approaches that help produce better writing. She likes conveying her writing knowledge to others and helping them improve their writing. Outside of academia, Mary enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, painting and exercising.

Language proficiencies: German (novice)

Laila Garner

Office Assistant

Laila (She/Her) is a first-year student at the University of Louisville. She is currently majoring in business administration and minoring in marketing. She loves listening to music, graphic design, and reading books. Laila is from Chicago, IL. Laila is also the owner of the clothing brand TakeOver Apparel. In her free time if she’s not working on schoolwork she will be working on her business.  

Nick Anderson

Office Assistant

Nick is an undergraduate student at U of L, where he is currently majoring in psychology. Currently, he hopes this experience will help him become an art therapist. If he’s not in class or working, he’s probably drawing or playing video games. He likes playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends on weekends.

Tera Hathcock 

Office Assistant

Tera (She/Her) is a sophomore at the University of Louisville. She is majoring in communications with a hope to do grad school for early childhood education. Tera has plans to become a teacher once she graduates. She loves to read, socialize, watch movies, and listen to music on vinyl. She is an active leader in her campus ministry, Ignite! She can usually be found in her apartment playing games or watching movies and hanging out with her friends around campus!